(KLIX) – Reclaim Idaho, a grassroots organization that helps with citizen initiatives, has a new communications director.

Jeremy Gugino has been appointed to the position, the organization said on Wednesday. The Boise resident will lead the position as a volunteer. Gugino said he is excited about the opportunity.

“I am excited to be volunteering for a non-partisan organization dedicated to giving working Idahoans a real voice in our government,” he said. “It is, after all, their constitutional right.”

Reclaim Idaho was behind the Medicaid expansion initiative that voters approved 69% in the November elections. Its passing caused controversy with some lawmakers, with some of them proposing compromised bills.

On April 9 Gov. Brad Little signed a bill that expands Medicaid coverage for about 90,000 low-income residents that adds work and other requirements to the voter-approved measure.

Gugino said the initiative is “Exhibit A” of why he is excited to serve in his new position and for an organization in which he believes.

“Nearly two-thirds of Idahoans from all walks of life sent a clear message to their elected leaders that they’re fed up with being ignored in the statehouse,” he told News Radio 1310. “Medicaid Expansion is the most colossal legislative achievement in Idaho in a generation – and the people of Idaho did that. They should be very proud of accomplishing what their elected leaders failed to do.

“Reclaim Idaho is a non-partisan organization that doesn’t care about political affiliation or ideology. The organization is dedicated to empowering working Idahoans no matter what zip code they live in.”

Gugino has a history of communication experience, having served as the volunteer communications director for the Idaho House and Senate Democrats from 2017-2018 and the volunteer deputy communications director for the House and Senate Democrats in 2019. He also served as communications director for A.J. Balukoff’s gubernatorial run in 2018.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri and a law degree from the Gonzaga University Law School. His career has spanned working at a number of TV stations in Missouri, New York and Washington State.

He said he enjoys talking with people on both sides of the aisle, and believes an educated and involved public is an important part of our democracy.

“I spoke with people who favored Medicaid Expansion and those who very much did not,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I preferred talking with the people who disagreed with me. Engaging with fellow citizens on issues of statewide importance is just about the most American thing you can do in my opinion.

“Our founders envisioned an engaged and informed electorate, so going around the state and talking face-to-face with everyday Idahoans was healthy for our political process – regardless of your opinion on Medicaid Expansion.”

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